Retirement Is Not the End Game

Are you prepared for retirement?

No? Is saving for -or lack thereof- stressing you out?

Yes? Are you coasting to it?

countdown_to_retirementSo many of my peers are in a different state of retirement plans. Some, have no means to save for retirement and are dreading working their same jobs for the rest of their life. Other friends of mine are comfortably waiting out the years until they can “hang them up” for good and retire.

What is the point of retirement?

“Don’t simply retire from something; have something to retire to.” – Harry Emerson Fosdick

While I do save some money for retirement, I know I am not saving nearly enough. Does that stress me out? It did once upon a time. I was also stressed out when I saw my savings take a big hit when the markets decided to correct themselves a few years ago. This constant state of anxiety proved to me that retirement is just not for me. I will continue to save something for the future, I am going to put more emphasis on the present.

That isn’t very mature of me!?

But it is.

I have no plans to retire, at least not in the typical sense. My ideal retirement will be working full time somewhere that I align myself with, doing work that fulfills me, being present. The thought of staring at the four walls in my house and waiting for my impending doom just doesn’t appeal to me. Even the idea of having downtime at home and resting between vacations doesn’t rev my engine.

I just want to be present, and the only way I believe in doing that is to contribute to something. I will work until I am dead. That may sound dreaded, but my definition of work is not shared by most. I love to work, I always have. That being said, I understand my body will age and my productivity level may go down, so I must buy myself time by taking care of my body.

work retirementSo, what is my retirement plan? I sock away a few bucks so I can take a few more vacations when I get a little older or buy a nice car. My most significant investment is in my body. I currently invest a lot of my time and money into working out and eating well so that my greatest resource when I become retirement age will be me. What good is retirement if you have all the cash in the world, but a deteriorating body that won’t let you spend it?

I won’t work myself to death, I will simply work until death. There is a difference.

What are you retiring to?

Who created this quote?

Harry Emerson Fosdick was an American pastor. Fosdick became a central figure in the “Fundamentalist-Modernist Controversy” within American Protestantism in the 1920s and 1930s and was one of the most prominent liberal ministers of the early 20th century. Although a Baptist, he was called to serve as pastor, in New York City, at First Presbyterian Church in Manhattan’s West Village, and then at the historic, inter-denominational Riverside Church in Morningside Heights, Manhattan.

Don’t Look Back Too Much,You Aren’t There Anymore

Our ability to retrieve memories from our past and relive them in our minds is impressive. While we all have bad memories that may haunt us from time to time, we do have some great memories that seem to last forever.

What makes those memories so profound?

Every year around the Labour Day weekend I reminisce of my time moving away to a different city to attend college. I was 17 and moving to a whole new world 1.5 hours away from the only town I grew up in. It was so exciting yet frightening all in one. I can still remember the sights, the sounds and the smells of my first apartment. I vividly remember the feeling of my first day at college and the reality that I was becoming an adult. But did I feel that way then?

Why did that time of my life seem so great? Was it as great then as I believe it to be now?

“I can’t go back to yesterday – because I was a different person then.” – Lewis Carroll

vhs_0The whole deal with memories is that when we recall them, we are looking back using the wisdom of our life. Like watching a classic movie remastered for modern technology, our memories always seem so much more vivid than the time we lived them. Often, we wish we were there again, back into the space of our mind, feeling comforted by the enjoyment we had thought at the time.

If we only knew then what we know now.

But we can’t go back.

MemoryLane-300x201.jpgDepending on how long ago your memory resides, we are not the same people we once were back then. Our experiences change our perception of what we once were and time fades the unpleasantries along the way. Our memories become massaged, and our wisdom creates a masterpiece of the images that we behold. We can even soften the sharpness of bad memories if our life experiences since then have improved.

We are all different today than we were yesterday, our memories will either get better or worse depending on what difference you have made in your life. It is why from time to time; we check up on our memory and wonder: How far have I come?

Who created this quote?

Charles Lutwidge Dodgson, better known by his pen name Lewis Carroll, was an English writer, mathematician, logician, Anglican deacon, and photographer.

His most famous writings are Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, its sequel Through the Looking-Glass, which includes the poem “Jabberwocky”, and the poem The Hunting of the Snark – all examples of the genre of literary nonsense.

The 5 Truths About Why We Give Up

The greatest weakness we have as humans is that we know we can give up. Giving up too soon, or too late; our survival is directly tied to knowing the balance. Seeing things through until there is nothing left to see and understanding our true self enough to know what that is, is the key ingredient to success. Those who find that “sweet spot” are those who make a real difference to our society.

While we all have many reasons why we give up something or someone, here are some of the most common ones

We would rather give up than change

When we are faced with the uncertainty of change, giving up feels much more comfortable. Our comfort zones protect us from harm. Why would we risk being in pain when we have the option to just give up?

We care too much about what others think

There are so many times in our lives that we fail to launch on thoughts we have just because of what others might think of us. Judgement from others is one of our biggest fears as judgement removes us from the norm and places us in jeopardy of being ostracized. We want to belong, so we believe that by giving up our disruption, we will stay safe within the herd.

We become distracted by others

So many times in our lives we forget that we are running our own race. As we are running along in our lives, we become distracted by what others are doing.  We are always comparing ourselves to others and give up with the feeling of despair. Instead of believing in our ability enough to do better, we convince ourselves that what our neighbour is doing is the best and we can not improve on that. Nothing has augmented this more than the advent of social media.

We lack the discipline to see it through

Change is tough. We don’t want to die. When we are under stress from a change in our lives, we want a reprieve, a break to comfort us. We revert to old habits that feel good and soon enough, we fall off the wagon and give up. Believing that the comfort of our former selves is greater than the benefit of our new self.

We just want the result without the need of having to learn

In the instant gratification world we live, we have fallen into the trap of fantasizing about the end without realizing there is a middle. It is that middle part where we learn to become great and not the end result. But we believe the end result is where our greatness is and don’t care about what it takes to get there. If what it takes to get there becomes too complicated, we give up on the result and move to another that we perceive is more attainable.

“Our greatest weakness lies in giving up.” Thomas Edison

The principle of success is quite simple: work hard, pivot, celebrate and repeat. We give up too soon whenever any of those steps become uncomfortable to bear. Even when we achieve our highest accolade, the thought of repeating can become daunting, and then we fade.

To become our better selves, we have to realize that with all change, it is challenging at first, painfully dirty in the middle and amazing at the end. Oh! And then we have to change again!

Who created this quote?

Thomas Alva Edison – was an American inventor and businessman, who has been described as America’s greatest inventor. He developed many devices that greatly influenced life around the world, including the phonograph, the motion picture camera, and the long-lasting, practical electric light bulb. Dubbed “The Wizard of Menlo Park,” he was one of the first inventors to apply the principles of mass production and large-scale teamwork to the process of invention, and is often credited with the creation of the first industrial research laboratory.

Write What You Live, Live What You Write

In a world swimming in bullshit, it is tiring to have to sift through all of it to get to the truth. Many of us have given up on ever finding the truth and elect to become cynical at everything we read. How polluted is our reality becoming when we have access to infinite knowledge yet, most of it is untrue and misleading.

One of the problems I have when it comes to writing is finding the words to describe an experience or feeling that I have, the other problem is to remain present enough to live these experiences in the first place. I cannot write bullshit. My style of writing requires me to have emotion behind my story, and the only way to feel emotional about anything is to get out and live it.

Are you living your story?

“How vain it is to sit down to write when you have not stood up to live.”

Even if you are not a writer, are you living a life worth repeating? Are the stories you tell your friends and family empty and full of bullshit, or are they full of emphasis and emotion? Be honest with yourself. It doesn’t take money, fame or a great career to live a great life worth sharing. You can walk 5 kilometres every day for an entire year for free and still have stories to tell about the journey. We are all born to inspire each other with our emotion, it is how we evolve. Becoming cynical at all of the bullshit and tuning yourself out enough to give up on life, is not a life worth living.

Stand up an live your life. Create your own reality instead of basing it on the polluted information you get from the internet, Netflix and social media. If you are talking about what you have not experienced, then you are a phony. Nobody is inspired by a phony.

Who created this quote?

Henry David Thoreau was an American essayist, poet, philosopher, abolitionist, naturalist, tax resister, development critic, surveyor, and historian. A leading transcendentalist, Thoreau is best known for his book Walden, a reflection upon simple living in natural surroundings, and his essay “Civil Disobedience” (originally published as “Resistance to Civil Government”), an argument for disobedience to an unjust state.

Letting Go of Your Comforts for the Uncertainty of Greatness

We all have ideal realities of who we want to be, what we want to do and how we want to get there. These ideals spin in our heads every day and the conflict between what we are now and what we want to be is always a war we wage.

One of the biggest reasons why I decided to stop writing in my former blog is that it didn’t feel right writing there anymore. The purpose of that blog was to allow me to heal from a past that I wanted behind me. I had written all that I could on the subject and so, that blog became synonymous to that era of my life. I am healed, but writing posts for that growing blog made me feel like I was going backwards. It was hard to leave that blog behind, it had a growing following, I was getting great hits from search engines, it was being responded to, but at the end of the day, it just wasn’t me anymore. I need to be a healed person to be a greater person than I was yesterday, writing on that blog pushed me back from that.

“We cannot become what we need to be by remaining what we are.” – Max Dupree

That era of my life is over now, I have moved on and this new blog is a reflection of my new life -my healed life. I am sure in time, this blog too will fall victim to my ever changing life. Who knows where this one will take me?

Who created this quote?

Max Depree was an American businessman and writer. A son of D. J. De Pree, founder of Herman Miller office furniture company, he and his brother Hugh De Pree assumed leadership of the company in the early 1960s, Hugh becoming CEO and president in 1962. Max succeeded his brother Hugh as CEO in 1980 and served in that capacity to 1987, and he was a member of the company’s Board of Directors until 1995. His book Leadership is an Art has sold more than 800,000 copies.

We Have Passion and Talent Reversed

When I grow up, I want to be a snow plow driver! Yes, I know, it doesn’t seem to be a luxurious career choice, but my son has a passion for heavy equipment. At 10 years old, he has never been in the cab of a snowplow, let alone the talent to drive one. But he has the passion, as many children often do.

Somewhere along the path of life, we get our talents and passions mixed up. Those of us who are still trying to grow up get caught up in the idea that we need to have skill, or experience to fuel our passion. We create the excuse that passion is born from a talent that seemingly falls from the sky, so we give up on pursuing passion simply because we are just not good enough or know enough about the job we want to accomplish.

“All you need is passion. If you have a passion for something, you’ll create the talent.” – Yanni

Doing something based merely on passion is one of the most rewarding experiences we can have in our lives. Even if we are not good at it, achieving that euphoria that comes from just doing something for the love of it, is where true happiness comes from. We are always in awe watching someone work for the love it and become envious that that person has found their true calling; even if they are not always very talented. So many of us unhappily wander throughout our careers and life because we believe we are not gifted enough to fuel our real passion, but that is disheartening. Passion feeds our curiosity, our desire to improve and ultimately passion fuels our growing talent.

I am not sure where my son’s passion for dump trucks, payloaders and steam rollers will take him, but I am not about to curb his enthusiasm. Just because I don’t think he has a talent for it and I believe that he has skills more aligned to do greater things. Who am I to dictate his passion? Besides, great things in life were never performed based on talent alone, it was always fueled by the endless passion put into it.

Are you passionate about your talent or are you talented with your passion?

Who created this quote?

Yanni is a Greek composer, keyboardist, pianist, and music producer who has resided in the United States during his adult life.